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Anti-Bullying at Kent School: Care and Kindness

Wednesday, February 27 is Anti-bullying (or Pink Shirt) Day.  We have had some questions from parents on what we will be doing for the day.  Although there will be pink shirts worn, topics discussed, and strategies taught… the more important thing is what we do every day at Kent School.  We take both building a positive school culture as well as dealing with bullying very seriously at Kent School and continue to work to improve in these areas.

Please take a moment to read Mr. Wejr’s latest blog post (with words from former principal Roxanne Watson) on promoting a culture of kindness and care at Kent School.

 

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo by forpawsgrooming: http://bit.ly/V61dFI

As “anti-bullying day” approaches again this year, I get questions as to what we will be doing as a school for this one day event.  My response has been,

“As a school, we will continue to do what we do every other day: promote a culture of care, empathy and kindness through teaching and modeling.  We will continue to try to nurture the strengths and interests in our students and help them to be more confident and proud of who they are. We will also deal with bullying and conflict (2 very different things but often confused) in a serious but teaching/learning manner so the lacking skills are taught and the focus stays long-term.”

Bullying is something that nobody should have to go through and when it occurs, we need to take this very seriously and deal with it very carefully.  We also need to be proactive in what we do – we need to create the culture in which people are cared for and care for others.  Now, I am not opposed to the intent of Anti-Bullying Day, as I am often blown away by the efforts of students and I believe we need to stand up to bullying, but I do think the focus is on the wrong thing: bullying.  Whenever we focus on something, it grows.  If we seek negatives in our life, we will find them.  If we seek positives, we will find them too.  Maybe we need to shift and focus on the positive qualities we want to see.

It is easy to put on a pink shirt and say that we are fighting bullying on that day… it is much more difficult to model, teach and create a culture in which kindness, care, and empathy is the norm.  We probably would find it difficult to find someone who is NOT “anti-bullying” (or pro-bullying?) but maybe not have a difficult time to find students and adults who struggle to lead a life of care.

I see many examples of students standing up for qualities like care, acceptance, and empathy and then adults naming it “anti-bullying”.  Check out this “acceptance” flash mob at a Vancouver Giants game in which the students use positive qualities (then titled “anti-bullying)”.

My former principal and mentor Roxanne Watson models this change and wrote a recent post that that challenges us to shift our focus:

… It is a complex issue.  Each time I hear of another life lost to bullying I ask myself why we as a community have not been able to address this problem effectively.

Bullying.  Bully-Prevention.  Anti-Bullying.  Stand Up 2 Bullying.  Stop a Bully.  Pink Shirt Day.  There’s no shortage of attention to bullying these days, nor should there be.  As a former child, an educator and part of a large family I have experienced first-hand the effects of bullying.  I certainly read the paper and follow the news and there is no lack of stories which document the terrible impact bullying has, not only in our schools but in our workplaces, in our own families, neighborhoods, churches, teams, clubs and any other place where people come together.  Each time a bullying story hits the news we hear a renewed sense of outrage and are inundated with anti-bullying campaigns.  It seems to me, considering how often we hear of bullying and how many of us have experienced it in our own lives that these campaigns have not been effective over the years.  So, I have a suggestion;  Stop focusing on bullying and start focusing on kindness……

….. read Mr. Wejr’s full post that includes more thoughts and a video by clicking here.

10 Good Things to Talk About – Feb 22, 2013

The new Kent Hill!

The new Kent Hill!

  1. New School Website!  We have created a new school website that we are hoping will enhance parent communication.  We value your feedback so please go to kentelementary.ca to check it out! (If you get the old site, just remove the www – we are working on this).  Thank you to CE Barry teacher Jacob Cowan for all his help in designing the site.
  2. Word Problems

    Word Problems

    Math Language  Ms. Exley and Mrs. Cardinal’s classes have been designing their own word problems starting with a math question.  Framing the learning this way helps students to make math more relevant and develop a common math language.  Check them out on the bulletin boards outside Ms. Exley’s class.

  3. Chilliwack Chiefs

    Chilliwack Chiefs

    Chilliwack Chiefs Visit  2 members of the Chilliwack Chiefs junior hockey team, Austin Plevy and Luke Esposito, came to read and play floor hockey with Mrs. Gallamore’s class.

  4. Hockey Pool Math/Stats

    Hockey Pool Math/Stats

    CHOICES Galore!  Wednesday afternoons are pumping with excitement at Kent School as students are participating in activities such as hockey pool math, basketball, drama, comic book design, Heritage Fair, dance, food from around the world, bird watching, building, games, tag and fitness, stop motion video, 2-way radio, arts and crafts, and learning centres.

  5. Kent Hill  The fence has been removed from our natural play area and the kids were able to enjoy time rolling and running up and down the hill.  Unfortunately, the weather led to some muddy conditions so we will reopen when we get a string of sunny weather.  Kids were so excited to play on their hill.
  6. A few of our dancers

    A few of our dancers

    Supporting a Few of our Local Dancers  We had the opportunity to watch the talent of 3 of our Kent Dancers as their studio, Project Dance, came to perform for our students in the gym.  The students were thrilled to see their peers showcase their strengths.

  7. Supporting the SPCA  Grade 5 students in Mrs. Peters class, along with the support of Mrs. Powell have taken on the task of raising money for the SPCA.  They brought in their used toys and books to help bring in funds to support this great cause.
  8. SMART Simple Machines Projects  Mr. Gallamore’s class is demonstrating their learning through their Simple Machines SMART Board presentations.  To help students with their presentation skiils, students can only give themselves little visual clues on each slide.
  9. Happy 100 Day!  Ms. Garrioch, Mrs. Roste, and Mrs. Smith’s classes participated in counting and building activities to help represent the number 100 as part of their 100 Day celebrations.
  10. Rotations and Reflections  Mr. Mills’ class is learning about reflections and rotations as part of their geometry unit in math.  Ask your child to explain the difference.
  11. Music and Choir  Intermediate students are practicing their duets and trios on their recorders.  A reminder to make sure your child has a recorder at school.  Students in choir have been given CDs of the songs they are learning for the Spring Concert on June 6-7.

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